It was about a year ago at this time—the evening of July 4, 2021—when I stumbled upon a video published by some random Steelers YouTuber who “buried” me for writing my satirical (but accurate if you know how Steelers fans talk) article titled: “11 Reasons Why the Steelers Will Be Totally Horrible in 2021.”
Naturally, being me, I basked in the glow of this video. I mean, I’m all about heat. Give me the heat. Give me the “1980s when heel wrestlers needed actual security to escort them to the backstage area” heat every day of the week and twice on Sunday. As a writer, I love it. I thrive on it.
Anyway, it wasn’t long after that, hours later, when I stumbled upon a tweet from Steelers linebacker Devin Bush, where he actually quote-tweeted a video of a cat falling down a stairwell and then joked about it not landing on its feet. This sparked outrage from all over Twitterland, but especially among some Pittsburgh reporters and radio personalities. One, in particular, was really outraged by it. I won’t name names, but his name rhymes with “Mark Madden.”
I, being a naive and innocent 49-year-old at the time, defended Bush and said that it really wasn’t that big of a deal. This immediately led to the local radio personality, who I will continue to refer to as “Mark Madden,” muting me on Twitter after calling me a Steelers shill and a member of the pretend media. (Please don’t forget to visit Behind the Steel Curtain: Your one-stop shop for all your Steelers needs.) That’s right, even though Michael Beck got all the royalties and sympathy for being labeled “pretend media” by the suddenly aware of BTSC “Mark Madden” the next day and the rest of the summer, I was the one who got the ball rolling by going toe-to-toe with the Great One that infamous Sunday evening regarding the Bush video. I was the fifth Beatle. I was the original drummer.
As an aside, “Mark Madden” wasn’t the first Pittsburgh sports personality to either mute or block me on Twitter. No, “John Steigerwald,” a Pittsburgh sports personality who I grew up idolizing and aspiring to be, blocked me many years before thanks to an ongoing debate about, well, I don’t want to get into that hot-button topic from 2017 (and again in 2020 before the media decided to stop focusing on it), but let’s just say it rhymes with “Trantham feeling.”
Oh well, this article isn’t about me and my social media run-ins with Pittsburgh sports personalities who I grew up with (and, hey, it’s hard to argue with “Mark Madden” for calling me “pretend media” when I brag about getting heat from some random Steelers fan who likes to make YouTube videos).
No, this article is about the fallout from the Bush retweet and how everyone—well, Steelers fans and people who like to hate the NFL—spent the next few days demanding a pound of flesh—mainly in the form of a Bush suspension and/or dismissal from the team.
I woke up the next morning—July 5—and couldn’t believe the reactions on Twitter. I spent the entire day—the recognized for work purposes (it was a Monday) Independence Day—defending Bush against his detractors. I co-hosted the Hangover podcast with Bryan Anthony Davis and Shannon White that evening, and we all agreed that it wasn’t the wisest move by Bush, but that we thought he deserved a second chance.
Doesn’t it all seem rather silly in retrospect? Sure, what Bush quote-tweeted was tasteless, but was it worth all of the arguments, debates, articles and podcast/radio segments that were the result of it?
At the time, this was the worst thing in the history of the world, but if it was so bad, why did I have to write another article to remind you of it one year later?
Did you immediately stop supporting the Steelers because of the Bush retweet of a cat being injured? Are you still demanding your pound of flesh for that incident? Did you hold onto that rage for more than a day or so? Are you still holding onto it one July later?
My guess is that you forgot about it rather quickly. Thoughts, at least as they pertained to Devin Bush, probably shifted to his play on the field and whether or not he could make it all the way back after suffering a torn ACL in 2020.
He didn’t, by the way, which is probably what you’re concerned about at the moment, at least when thinking about Devin Bush and how he may perform in 2022.
I’m not saying Bush’s social media activity in the summer of 2021 wasn't at least a little perplexing—oh, there were many other “winners” tweeted into the social media universe that may have rivaled the cat video in terms of “WTF?"—but it sure seems rather inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.
Bush was 22 at the time, and people that age are often weird.
Remember that. After all, we still have a few weeks to go before training camp, and young football players still love to go on social media and act weird.